Artist: John Christian
Album: Dark Matters

Released: 1 August 2014
Label: Self-Released

Dark Matters John Christian
The great promise of the collaboration is that a work may be realized which is greater than the product of just one mind. We have seen many good albums come into being through this process; but what if a musician wishes to express something that is entirely in their own voice, or are possessed of a vision that is so completely formed that adding anything at all from an external source would render the composition unrecognizable? Dark Matters (47'16") is the result of such an endeavor outside of a group setting. John Christian is usually associated with his band AirSculpture, the UK synth trio known for improvised concerts of epic sequencer excursions - but the five tracks that make up Dark Matters rest in a realm more contemplative and slow. Christian's big idea here is small change. By reducing the velocity of the mind Dark Matters holds a deceptive calming tone. In a rethinking of every parameter of music these timbre driven pieces offer daringly sparse textures, and when used to fill a room with sound are felt as an eerie peacefulness floating at the edge of the listener's perception. The seeming stasis of sound encourages us to focus on slight movements, which leads to revelations when a change does occur. Throughout the majority of this release Christian accentuates the stillness. That is until a point midway through, which is when we may begin to no longer feel on solid psychic footing. Within this metallic drone storm we are offered the incomparable roaring power of free dissonance and a saturating of the sound field - a studied abstraction of combat in slow motion. While being an accomplished Electronic Musician, Christian has never before mapped out this space for public consumption. He has come up with a solid concept, execution and outcome, with the most optimistic aspect of Dark Matters being in its painstakingly gradual movement - which assures us that some things do take time, but that there will always be enough time.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   7 November 2014

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